Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan rowed back on Monday from his threat to expel 10 Western envoys over their joint statement of support for a jailed ‘civil society leader.’
The reversal came after the US and several of the other concerned countries issued identical statements saying they respected a UN convention that required diplomats not to interfere in the host country’s domestic affairs.
On Twitter, the US Embassy in Turkey stated that the US confirms it “maintains compliance with article 41 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations,” following a statement issued on October 18 by 10 western countries around jailed philanthropist Osman Kavala, who is imprisoned on charges of involvement in the famous 2016 coup attempt in Turkey.
Erdogan chaired an hours-long cabinet meeting at which his ministers reportedly advised him about the economic dangers of escalating tensions with some of Turkey’s closest allies and trading partners.
He concluded the meeting by victoriously announcing in televised comments that the 10 ambassadors had learned their lesson and “will be more careful now.”
He also said that the 10 countries’ statement “shows they have taken a step back from the slander” against Turkey.
The Turkish President had originally threatened the ambassadors on Thursday and then doubled down – pronouncing the 10 envoys “persona non grata” – in televised comments on Saturday.
The diplomatic standoff began when the 10 embassies – including those of Germany and France – issued a statement last Monday calling for the “just and speedy” resolution of the legal case against Kavala.
The 64-year-old ‘civil society leader’ and businessman has been in jail without a conviction for four years.
Some view Kavala as an innocent symbol of Erdogan’s growing intolerance of political dissent since surviving a failed military putsch in 2016.
But, Erdogan accuses Kavala of financing a wave of 2013 anti-government protests and then playing a role in the coup attempt.
source : almayadeen.net